Your company or branded website communicates who you are to your target audience. The question is now whether it works for you the question is “how many sales are you losing because of your website ?” Today the best websites are one which are clean and functional and communicate your key brand messages within a few seconds. It starts with black text on a white background but it also needs look professional and not like it was done by someone at home with a computer and Internet connection.
You probably will spend a lot of money on search engine marketing or other online advertising to get people to your website there is never a second chance to make a first impression. The average person will spend 3-5 seconds on your site before they decide to stay so you had better have a really great landing page and website design. What I have found is that too many websites resemble bulletin boards with too many calls to action. More importantly I have also seen, especially for small companies, some really bad website design and functionality.
How much should you spend on your website development ?
That is the most important question you could ask. The answer is contingent on how important your website is to your brand and business. Websites that have blue or black backgrounds continually score low in usability studies with consumers and B2B owners. I had a client here in California who was undecided whether to redo his brands website or not. So we did some usability testing with his target audience (B2B owners) and found that most of them found his website “hard to understand (what is he selling and what are the key benefits?”). We also learned that some B2B people thought is website looked like it was done by a college kid in his spare time. It was not polished and unprofessional.
Take a look at your bounce rate and lead generation via the website. What is the average time on your site and what is the cost per targeted action for keywords? Are customers looking at the pages they need to convert or are they just skimming through the site and leaving ? There are ways to measure the effectiveness of your site on a consistent basis.
Things to remember when designing your website
1ne: Keep it simple and quickly communicate your key brand message or product benefits. Remember, people don’t read, they scan websites at first.
2wo: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Use callouts to emphasize key messages.[/inlinetweet] Ask yourself if you had 2-5 seconds to say something to a prospect what would it be and remember the F scenario (people read websites in the shape of an F). However, don’t let your website become too much of a billboard. One or two key callouts are enough.
3hree: Use real people as images not stock photography and show the benefit of your product.
4our: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Always check your bounce rate of your site and keep optimizing your site[/inlinetweet]. Evolve your site as you learn more about your audience and make sure you add and delete content as needed.
5ive: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Don’t let marketing hijack your site[/inlinetweet]. Marketers love the bells and whistles, but what they want usually has little correlation with what users need and want. Your website still has to meet brand objectives, but you can meet both brand objectives and users’ needs if you have a good website development agency or emarketing person.
6ix: There is a direct correlation between the importance of your website and money invested in the site. If your site is that important than invest in it and keep investing it. You’re never going to have someone go on your site and tell you your website sucks. They will just leave and that’s a wasted opportunity.